The Allahabad High Court has slammed the State Police for misusing the Gangsters Act legislation in the State of Uttar Pradesh in the matter Kapil Raidas v. State of Uttar Pradesh (Bail No. 6671 of 2020). The court was hearing a bail application and directed the applicant Kapil Raidas to be released on bail on his/her furnishing a personal bond and two sureties of the like amount to the satisfaction of the Magistrate/Court concerned. Rakesh K. Tripathi represented the applicant.
Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh observed that, “This is not a single case where the Court has been confronted with bogus, unbelievable and impossible story set up by the police to implicate one accused in several cases and then invoke the provisions of the Gangsters Act. The Court prima facie is of the view that the provisions of the Gangsters Act are being misused thoroughly in the State of U.P by the police in this manner.”
The court also expressed displeasure at the way investigation was carried out by the Investigating Officer (IO). The court noted that five cases were registered against the applicant and on this basis, Gangsters Act’s provisions were invoked by the IO. The court also heard the prosecution’s story that Rs.6,600 and some cigarette packets were recovered from him. The investigating officer had proportioned the amount of Rs.6600/- recovered from the accused-applicant into three thefts alleged to have been committed by the accused.
To this the court remarked, “It is very strange that the Investigating Officer did know that a particular amount belonged to a particular theft. How had he identified the particular amount being the amount of theft of a particular case? On the basis of single recovery which was affected from the accused-applicant on 14.08.2019, the Investigating Officer has made him the accused in five cases.”
Further, the court was also perplexed as to how the IO, “filed the charge-sheets in all five cases within a period of nine days from the date of alleged recovery from the accused-applicant on 14.08.2019.”
Confused with the present investigation, the court directed the Superintendent of Police, Hardoi to “file his personal affidavit that how the investigating officer came to the conclusion that Rs.1600/- allegedly recovered from the accused-applicant belongs to first case, Rs.1800/- to second case and Rs.3200/- to third case whereas it was a single recovery on August 14, 2019 from the accused.”
The Single Bench also looked at the possibility of such charges alleged by the IO to be false and hence asked the Superintendent of Police, “what action he is supposed to take against the investigating officer concerned.” By allowing the applicants bail application, the court finally directed the police to “specifically state what kind of investigation had been carried out by the investigating officer.”
The matter has been slated for hearing in the first week of November, 2020.
However, this is not the first instance of misuse as correctly pointed out by Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh. Times of India had reported in March 2019, that a Badaun Court had issued a notice to the District Magistrate and Senior Superintendent of Police over misuse of the act when the Badaun police and administration had wrongfully invoked the provisions against one Nanhe taking into account two separate FIR’s registered against him in 2011 and 2016.
The Allahabad HC order dated September 28, 2020 may be read here: